FEC fines Clinton campaign, DNC over payments to fund creation of 2016 anti-Trump dossier

Failed 2016 Democratic nominee and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is alleged to have violated numerous federal laws and regulations over the years but has also seemingly managed to avoid being held to account for any of her legally dubious acts.

That appears to have finally changed as the Federal Election Commission has reportedly fined Clinton’s 2016 campaign along with the Democratic National Committee for their roles in the creation of the fraudulent and debunked anti-Trump “dossier,” according to the Conservative Brief.

More specifically, the Clinton campaign and DNC were fined for being dishonest with regard to the purpose of payments to the law firm Perkins Coie that were, in turn, used to pay opposition research firm Fusion GPS for the creation of the “dossier” that was then used to smear and falsely malign then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016.

FEC reporting requirements violated

The Washington Examiner exclusively reported on the FEC fines issued against the Clinton campaign and DNC in regard to the payments to Fusion GPS by way of Perkins Coie for the purpose of creating the anti-Trump dossier.

At issue here is an apparent violation of strict FEC rules requiring accurate descriptions and explanations of all expenditures. In this case, both the campaign and DNC had attempted to argue that the payments were for “legal services” by Perkins Coie instead of what the money had actually been used for — purchasing opposition research from Fusion GPS.

The combined total paid to Fusion GPS through Perkins Coie was more than $1 million, with nearly $850,000 coming from the DNC and another $175,000 originating from the Clinton campaign.

Fines issued for violations

Now, because of the FEC’s determination that expenditure reporting statutes were violated by those two entities, the DNC treasurer was hit with a $105,000 fine while the treasurer of the Clinton campaign was fined $8,000.

The Examiner received advanced access to an FEC memo to the initial complainant announcing a settlement in the case involving the Clinton campaign and DNC which noted that the Commission had “found probable cause” that the treasurers of both entities had violated the law.

Attached to that brief memo were copies of the “Conciliation Agreement” separately entered into between the FEC and the campaign and DNC. Notably, both agreements included a clause specifying that neither entity conceded fault but also that neither party would further contest the claims lodged against them.

Finally, a small measure of accountability

The initial FEC complaints had been filed by the Coolidge Reagan Foundation, a conservative group focused on the First Amendment that is headed up by a man named Dan Backer, who shared his success with the Examiner.

“This may well be the first time that Hillary Clinton — one of the most evidently corrupt politicians in American history — has actually been held legally accountable, and I’m proud to have forced the FEC to do their job for once,” Backer said in a statement. “The Coolidge Reagan Foundation proved that with pluck and grit, Americans who stand with integrity can stand up to the Clinton machine and other corrupt political elites.”

“Hillary Clinton and her cronies willfully engaged in the greatest political fraud in history — destroying our nation’s faith in the electoral process, and it’s high time they were held accountable. I hope this is only the beginning,” he added.

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